Formune S.L. is an SME dedicated to the development of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of chronic infections and cancer. Formune was created as a spin-off of Digna Biotech, a privately funded Spanish biotechnology company, and owns a proprietary, novel platform based on recombinant proteins encompassing the Extra Domain A (EDA) from fibronectin, an endogenous TLR4 ligand.
Following the pioneering business model of Digna Biotech, Formune takes advantage of agreements that ensure full access to the resources and expertise of key partners for the pre-clinical development of our vaccines: the Center for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), Schools of the University of Navarra (e.g., Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology) and the University Clinic of Navarra. These collaborators have a close geographical and scientific relationship, and together, they have participated in the preclinical development of several therapeutic candidates.
Formune´s principal objective is to move the first EDA-based vaccine candidate successfully forward to proof-of-concept studies in humans. With this goal in mind, Formune is currently conducting extended efficacy studies in relevant animal models and optimizing the manufacturing process for the development of the GMP protein. The company also aims to perform regulatory toxicology studies, design clinical investigations and prepare the IMPD/IND document.
Formune will work to secure international development partners or license agreements for its programs once they have reached Phase II and demonstrated clinical efficacy.
Formune received a financing round in 2012 from Digna Biotech, SODENA, Caja Navarra and Inveready to focus in the next years on the preclinical and early clinical development of its first vaccine candidate.
Formune has access to special contract terms for use of the Center of Applied Medical Research (CIMA) facilities where it has a close alliance with the group of Dr. Juan José Lasarte, who invented the EDA technology.
Formune is located in the “Vivero de Innovación” of CEIN (Centro Europeo De Empresas E Innovación De Navarra) with open access to common resources and facilities as well as technical support for starting businesses. CEIN fosters a collaborative environment that favours interaction between biotechnology and pharmacology companies.
In addition, Formune is supported by a Scientific Advisory Board, which is composed of three internationally recognized experts in the field of HPV, immunotherapy and biotechnology:
Dr. Xavier Bosch is the Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Program and Chief of International Affairs at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Bosch’s interests focus on viral-related malignancies. He has conducted epidemiological studies on HBV and liver cancer as well as HPV and cervical cancer. He has been involved with the HPV and Cervical Cancer Program since its inception at the ICO. Dr. Bosch is a scientific advisor to the Autonomous Government of Cataluña in relation to cancer epidemiology/prevention and to other international institutions with regard to HPV vaccines.
Dr. Kenneth Powell is currently Executive Chairman of Q-Chip, a Cardiff-based life science company, which develops novel delayed release formulations for drugs. He was previously the founder and CEO of Arrow Therapeutics Ltd., a specialized antiviral drug discovery company acquired by Astra-Zeneca PLC for $150 million in February 2007. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Powell has been involved in setting up and developing UK biotechnology companies across multiple therapeutic areas while utilizing various business models.
Dr. Pedro Romero served as Head of the Division of Clinical Onco-Immunology at the Ludwig Institute’s Lausanne branch (2001–2011). He was appointed Professor in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at the University of Lausanne in 2003 and is currently the Director of the Division of Fundamental Oncology within the Department of Oncology, Lausanne University Hospital. Dr. Romero has been actively involved in pre-clinical and translational research in tumour immunology and immunotherapy. His main interests focus on the study of tumour antigens, human T cell responses and the development of cancer immunotherapy.
FORMUNE / Vivero de innovación, Polígono Mocholí, Plaza Cein 5 - Of. T5 / 31110 Noain (Navarra) Spain / Tel.: +34 948 31 61 57 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org